Gary B. Walter was elected the ninth president of the Chicago-based Evangelical Covenant Church June 25 at the denomination’s annual meeting in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Walter succeeds retiring president Glenn Palmberg. Walter, 53, served as the executive minister of the denomination’s church growth and evangelism department, where he oversaw a growth rate of about 56 percent through new church plants and other projects. The denomination has about 115,000 U.S. members and was founded by Swedish immigrants in 1885.

The Wesleyan Church elected Jo Anne Lyon as the denomination’s first female general superintendent last month at the 11th Wesleyan General Conference in Orlando, Florida. She joins a three-person superintendent board and will oversee church officials in the western half of the U.S. The Wesleyan Church counts approximately 400,000 members in 5,000 churches across 80 countries In 1996 Lyon founded World Hope International, which focuses on HIV/AIDS initiatives, prevention of human trafficking, and microfinance institutions in 30 countries.

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